2nd ARC (Fourth Report) Report Ethics in Governance
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Q-What is Ethics?
- Ethics is a set of standards that helps guide conduct.
- Ethics is a set of standards that society places on itself
- Ethics helps to guide behaviour, choices and actions of citizens.
- The Crux of ethical behaviour does not lie in bold words and expression, but in their adoption in action.
- It may not always be possible to establish the criminal offence of misappropriation in a court, but a Government servant can still be removed from service for unethical conduct.
E.g. An engineer may have deliberately permitted the construction of a defective irrigation dam or building. It may not be possible to get him convicted in court on charges of corruption but he could be removed from service on grounds of incompetence.
Q-What is problem in Ethics?
- The present codes of conducts are not direct and to the point.
- They are full of vague sermons that rarely indicate prohibitions directly.
Q-Politics and Ethics
- it is unrealistic and simplistic to expect perfection in politics in an ethically imperfect environment
- India was fortunate that high standards of ethical conduct were an integral part of the freedom struggle. Unfortunately, ethical capital started getting eroded after the transfer of power.
Q-Criminalization of politics
- It means participation of criminals in the electoral process
- Why rise of criminals in politics?
- protection for law-breakers on political, group, class, communal or caste grounds
- partisan interference in investigation of crimes and poor prosecution of cases,
- inordinate delays lasting over years and high costs in the judicial process,
- mass withdrawal of cases,
- Indiscriminate grant of parole.
Q-Election reforms already in process
- Improvement in Accuracy of Electoral Rolls.
- provision of photo-identity cards for all voters
- Supreme Court has directed that a candidate should declare any conviction by a court or whether a criminal case is pending against him
- EC has directed every candidate to file a declaration of assets and liabilities of the candidate and family members.
- Article 324 = EC has power to to “superintend, control and direct” elections.
- Using this power, Election Commission has made the Code of Conduct for elections binding in all respects.
- Similarly, EC has put prohibition of festoons/cutouts,
- required candidate to file on daily expenditure statements, during Election campaigns.
- appointment of a large number of observers, ordering of re-poll in specific polling booths.
- Electronic voting machines have been introduced throughout the country (in the parliamentary elections of 2004).
- It has been decided that the death of an independent candidate would not lead to the cancellation of an election.